GAO to study to impacts of New Jersey offshore wind development

Written by Nick Blenkey
GAO report criticizes Coast Guard shipbuilding delays

Image: GAO

According to Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has officially agreed to launch an investigation into the impacts of New Jersey offshore wind development on the environment, the fishing industry, military operations, navigational safety and more.

“This aggressive, independent investigation into the ocean-altering impacts of the 3,400 offshore wind turbines slated for the Jersey Shore will help address the wide-ranging questions and concerns that the Biden Administration and Governor Murphy continue to dismiss as they plow full steam ahead with this unprecedented offshore wind industrialization of our shore,” Smith said. “It is absolutely critical that New Jersey residents understand all the impacts of these offshore wind projects—which will permanently transform our marine environment and seascape and could put our tourism-drive economy at grave risk—before it’s too late.”

The GAO study—which was requested by Smith in a May 15 letter with House Natural Resources Committee Chair Bruce Westerman (R-Ariz), Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-N.J.) and Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD)—parallels the investigation required by an amendment offered by Smith that passed the House of Representatives as part of the Lower Energy Costs Act (HR 1) in late March.

It remains to be seen whether the GAO study will uncover anything not addressed in BOEM’s exhaustive review process of offshore wind developments.

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